Thursday, July 31, 2014

The "Baby" Turns Three!

How can it be? Three?Where did those first three years go? I guess it is only natural that subsequent children try to be like their older siblings and drop the baby stuff early. Kyle certainly has in most areas of his life. At the same time though, I think he knows that he is the youngest and will always pull at my heart strings because of it. I can't help it. And, the fact that he is a momma's boy, big time! We debated on whether or not to tell him that it was his actual birthday today because we have had to push his party out a couple of weekends from now. I didn't want him disappointed that his "Thomas party" wasn't today. He did well with it though and tonight I said, "How old are you now?"..."FREEEE!"
So, maybe he does get it a little bit. Then tonight I was feeling guilty that we didn't do much of anything today to celebrate him. All of our relatives called and sang and he opened a couple of cards that have come in the mail so he did receive extra attention today. But, as I was cleaning up the kitchen I remembered what we did earlier today when we took some mail out to the mailbox.

Not many three year olds get to do this ON their birthday...

We are having our backyard landscaped. I am so excited and actually that is my birthday gift. The workers left the Bobcat and so when Kyle walked out there today I asked if he wanted to sit in it and of course the answer was Yes! Anna sat in it too but we will keep this post about Kyle.

You are quite the character and love to make all of us laugh, even if that means using potty talk! Those green eyes of yours win us over every time and are very hard to say no to. You are quick to hug us and give kisses to, and when I say kiss, I mean a kiss square on the mouth! You are a tough little guy and get right up after falling down. It takes a lot to make you cry when getting hurt and yet if your feelings are hurt, you will dissolve immediately. Time outs are few and far between for you because you are a good listener. When you do have to go to timeout, you don't like it but handle it well, not extremely emotional. You still love to watch Mickey Mouse on TV while eating just about anything, fruit, a "pouch", sandwich. Baseball is by far your favorite thing to play outside but you do also enjoy riding your balance bike. You are quite pleased with yourself when you hit off the tee and encourage all of us to clap for you! You are still a big snuggler and will climb into bed with us in the mornings for some good snuggle time (Anna and Brice were not like this!). You love to read books, especially Cars, Curious George and Clifford. You wear the same Thomas pajamas every night. Your shirts have to have something on them, a baseball, a fish, Lightning McQueen; no stripes or plain shirts for you. Socks are a must everyday unless we are going to the pool and usually they have to be navy blue. Blue is your favorite color. You and Anna are very good buddies and you idolize Brice. You will repeat word for word what Anna says even if it is not your own thoughts. Lately, you have been sleeping with a baby doll that Anna received from Nana when you were born. Anna named him "John" because she really wanted us to name you John. But, you have taken over his care and are really quite nurturing to him. It is so precious to watch you with him. Of course, then you will take a ball and sling it right at someone's face two minutes later! You really are such a fun little kid to be around and we are so thankful for your life. We can't wait to watch you grow and keep us entertained!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Finally, The Wedding!!

So, the real reason we went to St. Louis was to see my cousin get married. Oh, and Blaire and I were the readers so we were kind of part of the ceremony! This wedding was so incredibly beautiful I can hardly describe it. The Basilica Cathedral of St. Louis is so amazing that I would say it is better than some places you would see in Italy. Then the reception was in this ballroom on the top floor of the Renaissance Hotel in downtown St. Louis. SO GORGEOUS!!! Of course my pictures don't do it justice as do the professional photographer but here are some anyway.

 This is one tiny area of the cathedral ceiling. The entire place is mosaic tiles. I think I could sit in there for hours and still not be able to take everything in. It took Kristen, the bride, 87 steps to get down the aisle.

 Okay, the shirt tail. He had on a nice long sleeved shirt for the ceremony and it was too small and I could tell it was uncomfortable. I had brought this shirt to change him into but didn't plan on him wanting the tie on it. Oh well. And, that food he is holding, the toasted ravioli goodness. So yummy!
 Kyle and Uncle Josh comparing ties.
 My green eyed boy.
 And, my awesome parents who were a huge help to me during our trip there.
 This is just a small glimpse as to what each table looked like. Everything was covered in flowers and candles, so elegant.

 I couldn't stop taking pictures of this girl because the lighting was perfect this time of day in this ballroom and then the huge windows let the light come in even more. She finally had had enough of me!
 Yes, this cake tasted just as amazing as it looks. Note: Please look at the cake topper carefully.
 So, Uncle Josh kept swooning Anna with flowers and then she would drop it and the stem would break, so he would get her another. She even brought one back to the house with us and had me put it in some water. She just loved all the flowers.
 There they are!!! Kristen and Drew! They are a perfect couple and I am so happy for them and that I was able to be a part of their special day.

 Did you look at the cake topper?? How cool they matched her shoes and how awesome are her shoes, period?? Anna was in true love with these things.
 I really wished I had someone take this picture so I could have been in it. Oh well, Kristen was a busy bride greeting everyone so I was trying not to be a pest. :)
After dinner, the dancing started! It was a very fun wedding and I would have stayed longer but I had two sleepy children to get back to the house. The kids did have a great time though. Here is Kyle on my cousin Jonathan's shoulders enjoying the view and dancing. Neither Anna nor Kyle actually danced on their own two feet. They were just held while that person was dancing!

 And, here is Uncle Josh and my mom's best friend from high school. Josh went over to the window to dance because there was an A/C vent blasting the cold air. Kris then joined him and then they started this whole thing with the tray and who knows!!

And, that concludes our St. Louis trip! We drove home the next day and rested for five days before leaving again to go to the beach. I will try and post those pictures soon. Getting these kids prepared for school this week. They go back next Thursday!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

St. Louis, Part II

Friday was the day of the rehearsal so I didn't want to wear everyone out too much. We went to see Jonathan and his "office" at the brewery and then had the opportunity to "meet" a Clydesdale. I am pretty sure Blaire's camera has the better picture of all of us. For those of you who don't know and are UGA fans, the Clydesdales are like Uga's. In order to be on the Clydesdale team, you have to be born with four white legs just as Uga has to be an all white bulldog.

This guy outside was a bit younger so we weren't allowed to pet him. They basically screen them and their personalities before they put them on the team.
After this we headed over to the "Biergarten" for some yummy lunch and yes, beer. I believe Blaire took some pictures during lunch but I didn't so...
Then we went inside and climbed all over this truck. Kyle was in love.

The kids were worn out after our fun morning and lunch and so was we went back to the house to rest. Josh was awesome and watched the kids while Blaire and I went to the church for the rehearsal. She and I were both lectors. And then we went back by the house to pick them up for the dinner, which was delicious! Lasagna...YUMMY with toasted ravioli for appetizers. Again, if ever in St. Louis, get some toasted ravioli, along with St. Louis pizza, Ted Drewes custard and Gooey Butter Cake...oh my yumminess. Below are pictures of the Bascilica, taken with my phone so it doesn't do it justice and then little Kyle all dressed up.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

St. Louis, Part I

Last Wednesday, I drove Anna and Kyle up to St. Louis for my cousin's wedding. Thank heavens I had my parents caravan with me because it was a big help keeping up with kids at the stops. Anna ended up with a double ear infection the day before we left and then that afternoon and during the drive burned that infection up with a fever. I felt terrible for waking her up at 545am to put her in the car to leave. But, having never driven all that way with kids, I knew I needed to hit the road early. We (Blaire, Josh, Christian and the three of us) stayed in this awesome house near downtown St.Louis in Lafayette Square. This house was built in the late 1800's and I felt like I was in a movie! So. Cool.

The first thing we did when we got there was order Imo's pizza for dinner. If you are ever in St. Louis and are hungry, get pizza!!! It is amazing, different, but amazing. Thursday, we hit the ground running with a trip to see Grandma and Grandpa, my Great Uncle Bud who is 94 years young and told me that everyday is a good day (this is why he is 94), and Pam and Gus. And, guess who showed up to our little visit?? The BRIDE!!!! So, here are pictures with the family.

 Christian was loving touching the kids' noses. And, of course the kids would giggle which would encourage him to do it more! So cute.

 My Grandma and the bride. Kristen is the youngest grandchild. Grandma and Grandpa came to all of our high school graduations but told my mom and aunt that they wouldn't attend my college graduation in case they weren't around to see every grandchild graduate. Well, guess what, they have now seen 3/4 of us get married!!! They were unable to travel to Savannah for Jonathan's wedding but I would say this is quite remarkable!

I was very bummed that Brice and Justin could not make this trip because I just wanted all of us to take a family trip to my birthplace! Baseball cramped our schedule but Justin said that he and Brice have had quite the weekend together so I am happy for that. My grandparents LOVED seeing the kids in person and Grandma said to me, "All these grandkids and only ONE girl!". My Grandma was one of two girls, she had two girls and then my mom had two girls. They couldn't believe how big both Anna and Kyle were and of course they loved seeing Christian too.

After we wore them out with all of our endless energy, we headed to Grant's Farm. Yes, Ulysses S. Grant. Here is the link if you would like to learn more about the history of it.
Josh and Christian went back to the house to nap while Blaire came with the kids and me. Most of the experience was great except for the goat feeding. A very aggressive goat pinned Anna while she was trying to get through the turnstile to feed it. It was traumatic for both kids and there were tears.

 When you arrive at Grant's Farm, you have to take a tram ride through tons of land to get to the "zoo" part of it. During the tram ride, you see lots of animals though.

 I wish I could remember how old I was the last time I came here. I want to say around 10 or 11. Look at sweet Kyle below so anxious to feed the goats. Too bad one goat ruined it for my kids!
 You can see Anna crying below. I had even warned them that their suck would be strong and she still wasn't afraid until...

 So, one perk is that they give out beer samples during the day to guests of age. Blaire and I loved this new beer. It is a Stella Artois and is cider. If you see it in stores, buy it! If you don't like it, drop your leftovers off on my doorstep!

 "Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike" , Geico commercial.

We came upon the Elephant Education show right as it was about to start. The kids thought it was neat. Kyle had lots of questions.
 Below is a picture of me looking at a confused Kyle. Bud, the elephant relieved himself in the middle of the show. Kyle was very intrigued and concerned that Bud kept stepping in his own mess.
 A balancing elephant.

After Grant's Farm, we headed back to the house to rest a little before going to see the Cardinals play! This was Anna and Kyle's first MLB game. I was pumped too. I hadn't been to a game in the new Busch Stadium. It is a beautiful stadium and I think overall the kids had a great time. The hot dog, lemonade, and Dippin' Dots ice cream helped for sure. As well as a hair bow for Anna and and ice cream helmet for Kyle.

We stayed until the seventh inning stretch and some children were invited to come and sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". Kyle loved it! This is what I sing to him every night before bed so I loved that he was able to hear it at an actual baseball game. It was such a fun day!! Stay tuned for more of our trip!